Is this going to an Eyes Wide Shut experience? Will Dirk Diggler be there showing off his manhood? Can I cop a feel or what? This Sexpo thing had me wondering from the moment I saw the first of many billboards around Johannesburg. When I heard “a guy would be painting with his … ahem …” on the radio, I was sold!
Now, that wasn’t the drawcard for me, but more like the tipping point of interest. I have worked in the events industry for the past four years organising the Castrol Extreme Auto Show — a wild, crazy show about wild, crazy cars. During that period I began monitoring the scope and terrain of the exhibition industry — the big shows, at least. So, when the Sexpo began its elaborate marketing plan, I was intrigued on many levels.
Obviously I’m interested in sex. It sells. And here we have a company basing an entire exhibition on it. I’ve heard of the sex shows in Las Vegas and they apparently give some of the most prominent events a hard time (no pun intended). Thousands of people attend to buy merchandise, toys and videos. They flock to see their favourite movie, ahem, stars and all that jazz.
I attended the event at Gallagher Estate last Friday night with a few couples and some friends. Not knowing what to expect, I watched people lining up to enter the mysterious venue. Everyone looking, but not really looking at each other. Not knowing whether to be embarrassed or proud that they took the daring leap to attend the Sexpo.
I was whacked a harsh R90 at the door and thought to myself, “This better be mind blowing for 90 bucks!” When I walked in, I was instantly surprised at the quality and layout of the hall. Nice carpets, friendly hosts handing out brochures and a mighty impressive turnout. This was no sleazy joint!
We decided to do the venue isle by isle; Sexpo foreplay, if you will, moving into the venue inch by inch like real gentlemen.
There were plenty of stalls focusing on sexual health and well-being, or crystals and oils for the ultimate massage, but several interactive highlights stood out for me personally:
1. Silhouette plays
This large, white backlit screen had hordes of people ogling at the characters behind it. “What are they doing?” some chap asked out loud. “Clearly things you haven’t done” another yelled out. This was like a real-life James Bond movie intro!
2. Art gallery
This was a tad explicit — something you’ll need to be comfortable with if you’re ever to attend a Sexpo in the future. The shock-tactic images created a queue outside the stand’s walls and, after wondering what exactly they were promoting, I was informed that should I wish to have some sultry pics of my lady made up, these were the people who could make it happen.
3. Supercar rentals
Slightly out of place, this company had a couple of exotic cars on display. Sex on wheels, if you will. They were there to offer these fine “panty droppers” to people on a pay-per-use basis. The owner of the business claimed that he had received a serious response from the visitors at the event, which was backed up by the kinds of high-income cars in the parking lot.
4. The Stud Butler
A 40cm-high, butler-dressed man with a raging protrusion was on display and received many giggles from the visitors. By immediate response to his master’s remote, he would begin to thrust forwards and back again at various speeds and angles to please his missus. I still can’t help but wonder who the hell would actually buy that little guy?!
An Australian artist wowed the crowds with his painting skills. Instead of the typical paint brush or crayon, he was dipping his penis into paint buckets and crafting a portrait of a woman visitor on a canvas. I must honestly say that his painting came out really well and looked very much like his subject. He had some other artwork on his stand wall with very realistic portraits of Jackie Chan and, the funniest of all, George Bush. Painted by penis! Classic!
Despite these highlights, there were obviously a whole bunch of “sex shops” at the event selling all types of books, magazines, DVDs, toys, creams, games and nipple tassels.
All in all, the event settled me and put my inquiring mind at ease. I had done it! Done what my conservative friends could not. And I can assure you I will not do it again. I felt like someone had raped my wallet of R90 for a mere 45 minutes of entertainment I could have probably found in mass quantity on Google.
Nevertheless, I did snap some short clips with my cellphone, edited just for Thought Leader readers who never went to the show. Right-click and save the link to take a look: 2,4Mb, .3gp format
Did anyone else attend? What did you think? If you knew about it and didn’t go, why not?